The University holds strong family links for many alumni, and Birmingham is most definitely in the blood for the Price family who have celebrated five graduations on campus.
David Price (BA History, 1986; Diploma Industrial Economics & Business Studies, 1987) met his wife Sally (BMus Music, 1987) while they were both studying at Birmingham. Their children Emily (BA Geography, 2013) and Tom (BA Drama and Theatre Arts, 2014; currently studying MSc International Marketing) continued the family tradition when they also chose to study at Birmingham.
‘I met Sally in 1986,’ remembers David. ‘We were working on a Guild Opera Theatre Group production of Sweeney Todd. I was directing and Sally was one of my chorus girls!
‘Sally took up singing in her second year, won a place in the Covent Garden Company, and performed at the Royal Opera House. She now provides singing training and works with children from a wide range of backgrounds to help them train for choral scholarships.’
David joined a Barclays training programme after graduation and enjoyed a varied career with the company. This included moving to South Africa in 2006 as part of an ethical banking scheme across 14 African countries. ‘We bought shipping containers and turned them into local stores with ATM machines for small villages,’ he explains. ‘We also launched a fleet of vans that served as mobile branches, and took vital services to remote regions across Africa.’
This experience inspired a passion for charity work in David and after returning to the UK in 2010 he began working for GEMS Education, where he is currently the CEO for Africa. Working with philanthropists including Bill Clinton and Bill Gates, he is helping to build and run schools across the region. David also works with the Charities Aid Financial Bank supporting not for profit organisations across the UK.
The Birmingham connection continued for David and Sally’s children. ‘Our daughter, Emily, knew she wanted to study in Birmingham after her first visit,’ says David. ‘It did feel strange dropping her off at the Vale during Freshers’ Week. It brought back lots of happy memories, and I couldn’t stop thinking ‘I used to live here’!’
‘University staff were incredibly supportive in helping Emily throughout her application,’ continues David. ‘Our son, Tom, also studied at Birmingham, and staff were again incredibly helpful. They even made him aware of an International Business School Scholarship for which he applied and, we are delighted to say, received.’
Both Emily and Tom have decided to continue their studies. Emily is completing a DPhil at Oxford University, whilst Tom is continuing his studies at Birmingham, reading for an MSc in International Marketing.
‘Given our family history, we are all advocates of what we consider to be the best University in the country,’ says David. ‘Birmingham has the right balance between maintaining high academic standards and treating students as adults.’
‘We’ve now been on campus for four undergraduate and one postgraduate ceremony, and I have a row of UoB graduation photos on the wall of my office. We have really enjoyed every opportunity to come back to campus, and look forward to our next visit when Tom graduates this year!’
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